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Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834) (Holly Reed, 2004) Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834): Progenitor of Practical Theology (John Tamilio III, 2002)
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Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834) (Chijen James Wu, 2000) Friedrich Schleiermacher: The Father of Modern Protestant Theology (Peter Heltzel, 1998) Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (Charles Demm, 2000)
Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768–1834)
Holly Reed, 2004
Life & Context
Upon even a cursory review of Schleiermacher’s writings, one cannot maintain a neutral stance on his theological presentation. Some have found his work to be problematic and troubling in its focus and tenor, while others have found it to be expansive and liberating. Almost everyone who has written on Schleiermacher has indicated his profound influence through the reformulation and rethinking of theological propositions, which has earned him the title “the father of modern theology.” Schleiermacher was born into a religious family within the Reformed, Calvinist, tradition. His father served as a Prussian army chaplain. Schleiermacher attended Moravian schools, where he was influenced by the pietism of the Moravians. Their piety called for an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, and focused on one’s personal experience of God and how to make that an active, visible reality in daily life. Though the young Schleiermacher began to study at the Moravian seminary, against his father’s wishes he left the seminary and enrolled for study at the University of Halle in 1787. It was there, perhaps for the first time, that he began to read writers such as Kant and Spinoza. Despite his enthusiastic engagement with Enlightenment thinkers, Schleiermacher did go on to receive ordination, though not without a reconceptualization of his relationship to pietism and
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his community of faith. At one point he wrote his father: “…I may say that after all I have passed through I have become a Moravian again, only of a higher order.” (Livingston, 94) In 1796, at the age of twenty-eight, Schleiermacher was called to serve as the chaplain at the Charity Hospital in Berlin. During his years in Berlin he associated with a variety of literary and social circles that placed him in the midst of the growing movement now known as Romanticism. Essentially, Romanticism, at its height between 1780 – 1830, was a theological movement reacting against the rational theology of the Enlightenment. Romanticism did not merely seek to replace or discredit previous thinking: Romanticism sought to expand the boundaries and limitations imposed by a rigid captivity to rationality and empiricism. Romanticism cannot be characterized by a single writer or school of thought, and it took different directions in different locations. But Romanticism did uphold a willingness to return meaning and value to imagination and mystery; it acknowledged the diversity of human experience in all realms of existence; and it validated both individual and corporate experience as a source of belief and meaning. While participating in the cultured, literary groups that espoused these sorts of Romantic ideals, Schleiermacher was encouraged to write a book. Though he was always warmly welcomed into these milieus, Schleiermacher was a puzzle to his friends. Here he was, a Reformed pastor eagerly associating with Christians and Jews alike who had jettisoned organized religion as irrelevant and restrictive, and he shared many of their sentiments! In 1799 he answered their request for a book, and published was revised in 1808 and again in 1821, when explanatory notes were added. was written as an apologetic piece aimed at those people (like his friends) who had left religion behind. After the failure of a passionate romance, Schleiermacher left Berlin in 1804 and became a professor of theology at the University of Halle, which he had once attended. His tenure there was short, however, because Napoleon defeated Prussia in 1806 and Halle was taken out of Prussian hands. As a strong patriot and political activist, Schleiermacher did not remain in Halle; he returned to Berlin in 1807. During this time he collaborated with Friedrich Wilhelm III to make Berlin the new intellectual center of Prussia, and to open a new university. In 1809 Schleiermacher accepted a call to preach at Holy Trinity Church in Berlin, a position that gave him great public exposure and prestige. It was also the year he married. In 1811 he was appointed to the chair in theology at the newly formed University of Berlin, and he also published . It was in this book that he elaborated upon his position of theology having three distinct divisions. The three divisions of theology are philosophical theology, which has as its purpose the identification of Christianity and its distinctive form of religious self-consciousness; historical theology, which relates the church to the teachings and traditions of the church throughout history; and practical
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theology, which has as its intention the instruction of church leaders. Dogmatics is considered by Schleiermacher to be a part of historical theology because it deals with church as it connects with history. Traditionally, dogmatics was more likely to be found as a branch of philosophical theology. But Schleiermacher contended that dogmatics needed to be firmly embedded within the church because its purpose is to serve the church. Because of its historical context and specific purpose, dogmatics must also be reflective of the contemporary, situation and it must relate the consciousness of God to the particular community it serves (Duke & Fiorenza, 3). During these years in Berlin Schleiermacher lectured and wrote on an astounding array of topics, including all the divisions of theology he had delineated, New Testament, hermeneutics, and psychology. He was also active in forming the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed churches, which created the United Church of Prussia, and he remained involved in the political arena. It was also during these years that he wrote his greatest theological piece, (1821-1822; second edition, 1830). There were other significant writings as well, though none of equal stature to . Schleiermacher died in 1834 after a brief illness, and many of his writings were published posthumously.
Schleiermacher was seeking to communicate to a generation of readers who felt liberated from the bonds of religion with no need to return to such corrupt or archaic forms. He was also writing to believers who were questioning and wondering and seeing a way to understand their faith in light of the ongoing “progress” of Enlightenment thinking and its effects on cultural developments. Schleiermacher did not write to these two groups simultaneously. To the first group he addressed his first work, , published anonymously in 1799. It was an apologetic, laying forth the definitions and values of religion in the particular form of Christianity in his contemporary context. He was, in turn, cajoling and coercive, and always passionate. He would lead his readers along, acknowledging the many flaws and damning consequences of religion, only to propose a fresh new way of looking at “the facts,” the agreed upon characteristics and attributes of human experience. This particular group of readers – the “Cultured Despisers of Religion” – are also, frequently, a part of the Romantic movement, which while despising religion was seeking alternative visions to the cold, mechanical facts and limitations of reason and empiricism. Into this arena Schleiermacher introduced his refreshingly new vision of religion as a feeling: “Religion is to seek this and find it in all that lives and moves, in all growth and change, in all doing and suffering. It is to have life and to know life in immediate feeling, only as such an existence in the Infinite and Eternal.” ( 36) He goes on
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If was an apologetic for non-believers.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. 132) These particular themes remain constant in Schleiermacher’s later writings.. accordingly. as well as the value of non-empirical feelings. and he will describe and analyze this existence – but he does so within the embrace of human limitations. the 1960 second German edition of German edition of does not include all the information Schleiermacher included on the 1928 edition’s title page.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.. this is to be a document for the church. though it is feeling that is properly the arena of God consciousness. but only as an awareness of the existence of God. and none of the information is included in the English translation. making it an interior. Schleiermacher continues to operate out of a context that is affirming the mystery and unknowability of some things. Schleiermacher places religion in the realm of feelings.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Schleiermacher is frequently misunderstood or disagreed with.” ( .” which would characterize the rational approach of doctrinal orthodoxy. to say: “…true religion is sense and taste for the Infinite. Religion. for he is using familiar words in very new ways. and anyone who has not experienced will not understand. he defines his terminology laboriously. When he switches to his dogmatic approach. The English translation of the full German title of what we know as is “The Christian Faith presented as a coherent whole according to the principles of the Evangelical Church.” ( 39) Schleiermacher is arguing against religion as mere “knowing. vi) Both the title and the quotation contextualize for his audience. In Schleiermacher goes on to say “The feeling of absolute dependence.com For evaluation only.bu. He will go on to argue in the fifth speech of that this interior feeling will be expressed in determinate forms – a particular religious context – because humans are social creatures and feelings are not abstract and disembodied and will therefore be experienced in a definite form. http://people. Interestingly. or feelings. personal experience with an element of the unknowable and the mysterious.” In the middle of the 1828 title page is a Latin quotation from Anselm stating “I do not seek to understand so that I may believe.foxitsoftware. as the absolute undivided unity. cannot be experienced abstractly. Instead. Nor is religion simply “doing. He will maintain the claim that religion is part of human experience accessed through feelings. Schleiermacher assumes a level of belief and familiarity with the doctrines he is about to present. He is variously accused of 4 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. God-consciousness is the feeling of absolute dependence upon God. This particular approach is embodied in the structure and even the title of the .” (Gerrish. and would fall within the realm of speculative theology. only specifically. Despite his attempts to define his language and method in The Christian Faith (most notably through the lengthy Introduction to explain his understanding of dogmatics). is not to be explained as an awareness of the world’s existence. but believe so that I may understand…For anyone who has not believed will not experience.ﻕ . natural religion and behaviors associated with Pietism.” which is a critique of religion-as-morality. Nor can they be totally divorced from knowing and doing: they exist together. Nonetheless.
of forfeiting human freedom for the sake of absolute dependence.” and Part II reflecting the “antithesis of sin and grace. Having defined religion as “a sense and taste for the Infinite” in . with Part I reflecting the consciousness of God through “absolute dependence. but a modification of Feeling. the self-identical essence of piety. Every religious and Christian self-consciousness presupposes and thus also actually contains the immediate feeling of absolute dependence. Schleiermacher was not making a linear presentation. and Part II offers revealed Christian theology. http://people. but he chose the current one so that the best would be saved for last: he wanted the message about the Redeemer to come last rather than earlier. considered purely in itself. His definitions include the following: : “3.com For evaluation only.” “4. Part I develops themes of natural theology common to all religions.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. pantheism. for the system of doctrine.bu. Schleiermacher now goes on to define his concepts more precisely in the Introduction to . of writing an anthropology rather than a theology. This structure reflects Schleiermacher’s understanding of Christian religious self-consciousness.” He moved from a more general relationship of God to the world to a more specific relationship found in Jesus Christ. nor did he view faith as linear.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. The piety which forms the basis of all ecclesiastical communions is. so the ending would not be anticlimactic! (Duke & Fiorenza. In his two letters to Friedrich Lucke printed in a popular journal of his time in 1828 as a way to preface and comment on the second edition of .foxitsoftware.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.. The common element in all howsoever diverse expressions of piety. nor a thing which varies from person to person. in other words. or which is the same thing. is therefore not an accidental element. is this: the consciousness of our absolute dependence. but is a universal element of life. one’s own being and the infinite being of God can be one in self-consciousness. or of immediate self-consciousness.” : “32. logical progression to faith or to verbal descriptions about it. neither a Knowing nor a Doing. and the recognition of this fact entirely takes the place. 55-60) As it is. or.. in general. of our relation to God. Schleiermacher notes that the three parts of could be presented in any order. This feeling of absolute dependence. in which our self-consciousness in general represents the finitude of our being.ﻕ . the Introduction provides the methodological foundation. by which these are conjointly distinguished from all other feelings.” 5 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. and of being essentially non-Christian in his presentation of Christ in what critics often view as an ancillary position.” “33. There was not necessarily a particular. Misunderstandings of Schleiermacher’s are frequently due to an erroneous judgment about its structure. as the only way in which. of all so-called proofs of the existence of God. of anti-intellectualism.
Yet this freedom is only partial.. however. We are not God. It is a task he would encourage even now. Trying to stop the reduction of religion to a set of cold facts or to a quaint historic reliquary.” Schleiermacher’s intent is to reposition the dogmatic task in such a way that there is room for diversity.. change (within the bounds of orthodoxy!).” : “15. and independent thought and action. Schleiermacher is accused of being anti-intellectual in his emphasis on piety and feeling over reason. His emphasis is on relationship and he rejects the urge to dichotomize freedom and dependence.bu.” Bibliography 6 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.ﻕ . http://people.” : “19. Schleiermacher. Christian doctrines are accounts of the Christian religious affections set forth in speech.” : “14. because absolute dependence would imbue a constant “immediate self-consciousness” that mediates our relationship between the self and God. For example. Throughout his writing Schleiermacher continuously holds in tension the polarities that characterized Christianity in his time…the tensions between knowing/doing. dependence/freedom. individualism/communalism.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. and his critics contend that he slips over the edge on many of them.com For evaluation only. : “11. experience/tradition. and is essentially distinguished from other such faiths by the fact that everything in it is related to the redemption accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth. and our abilities are not as broad or deep. for as he said. Schleiermacher would defend freedom as compatible with dependence.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Dogmatic Theology is the science which systematizes the doctrine prevalent in a Christian Church at a given time. In terms of the elimination of human freedom by the definition of absolute dependence. His concern was to enforce the fact that human knowing is limited and does not have access to all there is to know. speculation/empiricism. would not deny the need and value of “knowing:” he simply would not give it primacy over feeling. Christianity is a monotheistic faith of the teleological type. emotion/reason. “Dogmatic Theology is the science which systematizes the doctrine prevalent in a Christian Church at a given time. Schleiermacher faithfully seeks to contextualize the faith in order to serve the community of faith right where it is at the present moment.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. In doing so he walks a thin line on a number of orthodox issues. diversity/unity.foxitsoftware. There is no other way of obtaining participation in the Christian communion than through faith in Jesus as Redeemer.
M. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher was born on 21 November 1768 in 7 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. which he claimed does not “share the normative dignity or inspiration of the New” (Schleiermacher 1999 ed.ﻕ . save Old Testament. 1997 Redeker. Chico. Gerrish. 1973 ..S. Translated by John Schleiermacher. Life and Thought Hailed by many as the father of modern theology and dubbed by others as a Prince of the Church. London: T & T Clark. His writings (over two and a half dozen of which have been translated into English) span the spectrum of the practical and scholarly subdivisions within Christian religious studies.E. 1922 ________.A. . Translated from the 1st German ed. .bu. Martin. 1981 Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834): Progenitor of Practical Theology John Tamilio III.: 608). 1999 ________. and the contribution it has made to modern western theology.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Mackintosh and J. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1996. . Stewart. NJ: Prentice Hall. Henderson. To truly appreciate Schleiermacher’s thought.com For evaluation only. B. 2002 I. one must examine the world into which he was born and the influence his upbringing and education had on him.. 2000 Livingston. Upper Saddle River.” Edited by Adrian Hastings. Wallhausser. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.” Schleiermacher is a pivotal figure in the pantheon of modern western theologians and possibly the first practical theologian (Christian 1979. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. V. “Schleiermacher. James C.foxitsoftware. Baillie.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. James Duke and Francis Fiorenza. Translated by D. CA: Scholars Press. Translated by ________. Publisher. 31). http://people. a term he coined to describe one “who knows how to do theology in the service of the community. Friedrich D.R. of 1799 by Richard Crouter. Edited by H. Edinburgh: W.
bu. “Schleiermacher took the first theological examination prescribed by his church. but has been aptly characterized by Schleiermacher scholar Stephen Sykes as having a three-fold agenda: “a strong confidence in the powers of human reason and natural enquiry to uncover truth in every field. Interestingly enough. the winter of 1789/1790 in Drossen) as “by far the lowest point in Schleiermacher’s personal history” (Redeker 1973: 17). In 1778.e. Gottlieb was a Prussian court chaplain and a member of the — the Movarian Brethren pietistic community. Although Friedrich benefited greatly from the pietistic foundation laid by the Movarian Brethren — later in life he would to refer to himself as a pietist “of a higher order” — they soon became the object of his rebellion. had a profound influence on Schleiermacher’s thought. This decision seriously fractured Schleiermacher’s relationship with his father — a split that was not reconciled until 1794. Christian tells us that during this time. the objectives of the Enlightenment. Schleiermacher entered a professional life that personified the crux of his thought.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher.com For evaluation only. Schleiermacher read Goethe’s “encountered the critical theologies of Wolf and Semler. he became a scholar-pastor. Whether accepted or rejected (both seem to be the case at various times in Schleiermacher’s work). http://people. shortly before Gottlieb’s death. Schleiermacher’s horizons spread. were raised in clerical families.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. coupled with the teachings of pietism. Friedrich enrolled in the Movarian Seminary at Barby to begin his formal theological education. and pronounced educational and social aims designed to release the promise of development towards an enlightened order of society” (Sykes 1971: 2-3). Breslau. At Halle. and Carl) educated in the Movarian school.foxitsoftware. Schleiermacher biographer and critic Martin Redeker refers to this time (i. he left Barby two years later (1787) to enroll in the University of Halle to study philosophy.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Prussia into a family of Reformed (Calvinist) ministers. As a result.” and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Gottlieb and Katharina-Maria. In 1785. and a post was found for him as tutor in the 8 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.. Friedrich. particularly the atoning sacrifice of Christ. A product of the Reformation. Both of Schleiermacher’s parents. the latter having as profound an effect on Schleiermacher as the dialogues of Plato.. Schleiermacher had difficulty subscribing to many of their teachings. it was during this period that Schleiermacher suffered greatly from self-doubt and skepticism. Silesia. C. a preparedness to open the area of discussion of religion beyond the categories of Christianity and Paganism to include the possibility of discovering a religion ‘natural’ to humanity. After spending a year with his maternal uncle Samuel Stubenrauch (another scholar-pastor). Things soon changed. of which Schleiermacher was to become a noted translator (Christian 1979: 33). He was greatly influenced by both Enlightenment thought and Romanticism. He was also born at the height of the Enlightenment — an age whose definition is elusive.ﻕ . W. however. Gottlieb decided to have his three children (Charlotte. doing well or excellently in all subjects except dogmatics.
began his translations of Plato’s dialogues.foxitsoftware. which Schleiermacher aimed at his friends to show that feeling (as associated with Romanticism) is of primary importance to religion over Enlightenment rationalism.: 27). having witnessed the faith that unites people in spite of doctrinal differences. it is a way of acting. Gerrish tells us that is “often said to have inaugurated the modern period in Christian thought” (Gerrish 2000: 644).ﻕ . During this time. In the “Second Speech” (of five). These thoughts were to find a deeper and more mature expression in his later work. Schleiermacher proceeds by examining “both sides” of religion. and the humanity the Romantics so eagerly cultivated is diminished whenever religion is neglected and despised” (Gerrish 2000: 644). alongside knowing and doing. 1794-1796)” (Gerrish 1987: 108). he assumed an assistant pastorate at Landsberg (Gorzow Wielkopolski. a special kind of conduct and character. A. the University of Halle. East Prussia (1790 to 1793)” (Gerrish 1987: 108). and though both sides belong to religion. yet. Schleiermacher served a brief tenure as a professor and preacher at his alma mater.. as Gerrish tells us. His experience with the Dohna family made a deep influence on him and. In 1809. a peculiar desire and love. became increasingly influenced by the Romantics. and published (anonymously) “what even today remains his best-known writing” — his first book. is a work of apologetics.. which only arise out of second-order reflection on religion” (Gerrish 2000: 644). family of Count Dohna in Schlobitten. While serving as pastor of Trinity.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. He formed a friendship with Friedrich Schlegel. The program he designed was 9 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. a faith.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. “Religion is something antecedent to beliefs and dogmas. “religion is an indispensable ‘third’ in being human. and of combining what meets us in the world: at another. “After the second and final examination. This was a formative period in Schleiermacher’s intellectual life.bu. his theology. Schleiermacher maintains that religion is a mingling of the theoretical and the practical: Religion is for you at one time a way of thinking. (Christian 1979: 35). Schleiermacher was also appointed professor of theology and dean of the theology faculty at the University of Berlin (1810). a particular way of contemplating the world. he returned to Berlin where he became pastor of Trinity Church. you are usually accustomed to give heed chiefly to only one at a time (Schleiermacher 1958 ed. in Schleiermacher. as a result. that which is fundamental to the universal human condition. in which his performance in dogmatics was again undistinguished. Renowned Schleiermacher scholar B. Part of his duty as dean was “to structure the theological curriculum. he also became chaplain at Charité Hospital in Berlin (1796).Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Schleiermacher argued that it is impossible to known God through reason.com For evaluation only. In the vein of Kant. In 1804. http://people. Without this distinction of a theoretical and practical you could hardly think at all. is the means by which we can experience God. but feeling.
All three segments will be examined carefully in order to grasp the full scope of Schleiermacher’s argument. 36). though most supremely in the redemptive work of Christ. First published in 1821-1822 and revised shortly before his death in 1830-1831 to dispel misunderstandings spawned by the original. for Schleiermacher. it also proves the existence of God..Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. we are influenced by external reality and our existence influences (however slight) the world. corresponds respectively to Schleiermacher’s categorization of knowing and doing. This not only lies at the heart of his theology. hence status as a classic of theology. for Schleiermacher.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. theology — the best that our limited language can do to express reality (let alone the experience of faith) as deconstructionists would later argue — should reflect the experience of a specific community. This is a precognitive experience. In this work.ﻕ . given the title when it was first published in 1810. but. This has led 10 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.com For evaluation only. faith is not the experience of isolated individuals. Second.bu. God) that does not dependent on us (Christian 1979: 81). “true piety” is the realization that we depend on something (i. but rather the lived experience of a faith community. outlines Protestant theology in two parts with an introduction equal in length to the first part. However. Absolute dependence is both the “primary datum of religion” and the way in which we are “to in relation to God” (Christian 1979: 81.e. Two other foundational elements of Schleiermacher’s thought need to be unpacked at this point. Schleiermacher explicates this by distinguishing the reciprocal nature of experience: (abiding-in-self) and (passing-beyond-self). Absolute dependence is evident in all religions. The latter is the foundation of Schleiermacher’s systematics.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. the subjective abiding-in-self that is influenced by the external world and the objective passing-beyond-self that affects the world.foxitsoftware. is a supreme work of Protestant dogmatics. First. and serves as an excellent introduction to his subsequent works. II. In sum.” in particular the piece that is regarded by many as “one of the most significant theological achievements of modern Protestantism”: or what Schleiermacher often called his (“doctrine of faith”) (Christian 1979: 35. 86). This. Whereas is an outstanding work of Christian apologetics. Schleiermacher begins by distinguishing the cognitive from the visceral: knowing God intellectually and experiencing God affectively. which many compare to John Calvin’s (1536-1559) for its contribution to Reformed thought. Religious experience is grounded in a feeling of absolute dependence on God.. http://people.
that does not present the whole of Schleiermacher’s theology. In section three.: 233). cf. and omniscient God.bu. and so forth — were shown to be errant? Schleiermacher answered this question by offering a new approach to theology that emphasized the practical over the theoretical without sacrificing reason for faith.” which humanity assimilates by being assumed by Christ in his “God-consciousness” (Schleiermacher 1999 ed. in the second his doctrine of redemption.. Schleiermacher provides the segue to the often neglected “Second Part of the System of Doctrine. This is not so much a scientific observation as it is a faith claim: humanity is utterly dependent on the God who creates and sustains life in every epoch. as Gerrish does.: 142). Schleiermacher’s critics to label him a relativist. This is evident in the interdependence of nature and the timelessness of the omnipresent. Sin.” Here he posits the claim that “The universality of the feeling of absolute dependence includes in itself the belief in an original perfection of the World. The reality of sin and the need for redemption provide the basis for the subsequent section. The Enlightenment subjected all history and thought to critical scrutiny.foxitsoftware. much like faith. Humanity is as conscious of this need as it is of its sinfulness. but also “true to the faith from which it springs” (Christian 1979: 93).” Schleiermacher develops his doctrine of creation. Intimately connected to evil and having its source inside and outside of the self.: 271. but only one division of his dogmatics” (Gerrish 2000: 644).ﻕ . can only be removed by redemption through the fully human and fully divine Christ “through the communication of His sinless perfection.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. as Christian tells us. and…God sustains the world” (Schleiermacher 1999 ed.: 361.com For evaluation only. according to Schleiermacher.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. §100 and 101). theology. Referring to as a work of theology is somewhat problematic. 275). http://people. if the skeleton of is methodological. including religion. “the greatest significance of Schleiermacher for modern theology lies less in the substance of his thought than in the revolution he brought about regarding the nature and method of theology” (Christian 1979: 88). in Schleiermacher’s system. In other words.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. omnipotent. its flesh is still laden with doctrinal content. yet Schleiermacher maintained that the shared experience of faith must not only be coherent.” which includes nature and humanity (Schleiermacher 1999 ed. but also (and especially) within community. Redemption. In the “First Part of the System of Doctrine. Our actual sin. The opening to part one reflects the opening of Genesis: “the world was created by God. rooted in original sin. the creeds. On what legs could Christianity stand if its pillars — historical witness. in their conception God created humanity and nature for perfection. It is pertinent to note at this juncture. Scripture.. sin is defined as “a positive antagonism of the flesh against the spirit” and “a derangement of our nature” (Schleiermacher 1999 ed. is the second act of creation — 11 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. In any event. originates not just in individuals. because.
III. is a reflection of the consummated Church at the end of time when Christ will judge the living and the dead and the Church will be fully separated from the world “in a state of unchangeable and unclouded blessedness” (Schleiermacher 1999 ed.bu. the Church. administration of church identity (“the Power of the Keys”). to grow with one another in sanctification. in turn. Nathaniel. but his life and work changed the course of modern Christian theology (Redeker 1984: 212).. 12 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. results in the believer’s sanctification: a life that reflects the “perfection” and “blessedness” of Christ. Schleiermacher’s Legacy Schleiermacher died of pneumonia on 12 February 1834. as mentioned above. having been assimilated by the Holy Spirit. The Church. shortly after he revised He left behind a wife. This. however. Schleiermacher’s death may have “moved the entire population of Berlin.: 717). and prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Schleiermacher ends with a brief discussion of the difficulty of accepting the reality of damnation and a slightly longer treatment of the Trinity (the co-existent and mutually inclusive God as eternally three-in-one). Believers are then driven. This is accomplished through the marks of the Church: reading and proclaiming the inspired Word of God as found in the canonized New Testament. http://people. both visible (the imperfect and divided branches of the Church) and invisible (the infallible and united Church Universal). Redemption in Christ is achieved through an act of conversion (which is achieved through repentance) and justification (which is achieved through faith in Christ). Predestination is not blind election. Henriette von Mühlenfels (twenty years his junior and the widow of his friend Army Chaplain von Willich).” as Redeker tells us.ﻕ . the completion of it..foxitsoftware. initiation into the salvific life of the Church through baptism (followed by an act of confirmation for baptized infants). Schleiermacher’s contributions to modern western theology are immense. It must live in the world yet maintain its identity. The Church is the corporate life of predestined. this life is corporate.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. spiritual strengthening and reaffirmation of life in Christ by sharing his body and blood in his Supper. who died at the age of nine from diphtheria. “regenerate individuals” who “form a system of mutual interaction and co-operation” (Schleiermacher 1999 ed. Through such acts.: 532). The Church becomes the perfect reflection of Christ on earth. with each individual being an integral part of it.com For evaluation only. a public ministry rooted in the Word of God. and was predeceased by their son. He also ends this work by leaving a tremendous legacy for Christian theology. Yet. but rather God foreseeing faith in those whom he elects. is not an isolated gathering of pristine souls. This leads to Schleiermacher’s ecclesiology.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.
and the text that many claim inaugurated the modern period in western theology. He can also be considered. His focus on religious experience as a precursor to dogmatics paved the way for much of the mediating work that is being done in this burgeoning field. (1799). theological discipline.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.e.. in many respects. This is followed by the more laborious Jesus talk of the men. as mentioned above.bu. Gerrish states that “no theologian has ever insisted more emphatically that ‘the crown of theological study’ (to say in his own words) is (Gerrish 1984: 20-21).’ not ‘speculative’” (Gerrish 1984: 21). Proposing a comprehensive definition of this discipline is difficult (in part because it is still in the process of self-definition as its critics and adherents maintain). This proposition needs to be unpacked a bit further. Simply put.. (1805). whether or not these practices are formally organized as a religious body” (Burch 1999: 19). (1821-1822).” three women reflect on their joyful memories of Christmas and the maternal love that Mary had for the baby (Redeker 1984: 84). In his shorter and lesser-known fictitious colloquy. B. Anderson makes a similar claim in his recent study.com For evaluation only. the practices in which people engage that indicate their intersection with the sacred. or their ultimate concern. a patriarch of practical theology. in many respects. that theology is second-level reflective activity on the lived experience of faith. his insights into ecumenism and religious pluralism were novel. Likewise. He understood Christian theology to be (in his terms) ‘empirical. Ray S. A. Schleiermacher believed. which Wilhelm Dilthey claims is “the best introduction to the study of Schleiermacher’s dogmatics. but a good working one is that practical theology “deals with contextual religious research. not simply with ‘God’ as a philosophical construct. who debate (from a historical-critical perspective) the meaning of the incarnation The entire company is then brought back into the festive spirit when one of the guests draws them to the piano for a sing-a-long (Schleiermacher believed that “music [and the other arts] is a more basic medium of religious expression than the spoken word”) (Gerrish 1984: 28).. I have illustrated the development of this thought (above) in the two works for which he is best known: his first book. in his series of lectures on Schleiermacher. “He concerned himself with facts and phenomena — with real. 13 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. cuts to the heart of Schleiermacher’s thought. particularly faith. live religion. In this work.ﻕ . or the holy. Stephen Sykes claims that “begins to show some of the fruit of [Schleiermacher’s] increasing attention to the problems of Christian doctrine” (Sykes 1971: 11). This. this point is illustrated more dramatically. Although he would be considered an inclusivist by today’s standards. i. Schleiermacher’s theology and methodology had a profound impact on the development of practical theology as a formal.foxitsoftware. (2001: 24). http://people.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.
http://people. W. 1890. to unite the practical with the theoretical. -----. 2001. 14 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. Bibliography and Works Cited Primary Schleiermacher. (NB: this is the Burch source cited above.com For evaluation only. Secondary Anderson.” from Winter/Spring 1999. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.ﻕ . Waco: Word Books.. -----. Browning. 1996. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. of 1799 by Richard Crouter. .. C. -----. Christ is the one who supremely embodies “God-consciousness” and redeems humanity “by drawing men and women into the power of his own awareness of God” (Gerrish 1984: 48). Burch.bu.. resurrect Christian faith at a time when Enlightenment thought buried its authoritative foundations and 2. Translated from the 1st German ed.foxitsoftware. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. In light of all this. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. ---. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. . 1991. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 1999 edition. Sharon Peebles. Inc. “Practical Theology and the Seminary.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 2nd ed. Friedrich Daniel Ernst. it is easier to see that Schleiermacher’s theology is the careful marriage of experience and Christology. 1850. Ray S.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. Don S. It is safe to assume that Schleiermacher’s influence on Christian theology will extend far into the post-modern era. As controversial as this claim was (and is). This is expressed by what he believed is universal to the human condition and all religions: “absolute dependence” on God.) Christian. 1979. 1999.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. it enabled Schleiermacher to 1. For Schleiermacher.
. Funk. he along could be compared with Thomas 15 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. 108-113. . A. Oxford: Oxford University Press. By disproving the allegation. Press. at that time. which has influenced the later Protestant theologians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “Schleiermacher. . “Schleiermacher. Friedrich Daniel Ernst. He is truly a great theologian because he has rescued the Protestant theology out of an era that religion was coming to demise so to speak. 1970. New York: Macmillan Publishers. 4).Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. 2000 It is very true that most modern Protestant theologians consider Friedrich Schleiermacher the “Father of the Modern Protestant Theology. “Shortly after Schleiermacher death . and Hugh Pyper. earns this prestigious title for him. 1973. Gerrish has pointed out. 93). Robert W.. 1971. New York: Herder Philadelphia: Fortress Press. ed.bu.” from eds. 13. a leading Catholic theologian testified that . Philadelphia: Fortress Richmond: John Knox Press. pp. in chief Mircea Eliade. As B. As a result. ed. he successfully paved a new path for later Protestant theologians to reconstruct the so-called “modern Protestant theology.com For evaluation only. As he has pointed out in his speeches on religion. and science that were prevailing in the Romantic Movement of the nineteenth century. .. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834) Chijen James Wu.foxitsoftware.” He made theology possible in the face of philosophy. ---. 644-646. Nevertheless. Schleiermacher earned his reputation in not only the Protestant circle but also the Catholic circle. Stephen. modern Protestant theologians often regard him as the most important theologian between John Calvin and Karl Barth (Livingston 1997. Gerrish. Friedrich Daniel Ernst.” Schleiermacher’s bountiful theological legacy.ﻕ . 2000. B. and Herder.. http://people. 1987. Redeker. “I do not chime in with the cry for help of most of them concerning the demise of religion” (Schleiermacher 2000.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. Sykes. 1984. Alistair Mason. history. ---. Martin. did not agree with the allegation that the demise of religion has come as the cost of Enlightenment. pp.” from vol. Adrian Hastings. A. It is apparent that he simply.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.
He found the significance of aesthetic sensitivity in the third critique. Another aspect of the Romantic Movement was its concern for history.foxitsoftware. Without a doubt. Some philosophers of this era argued that studying history provides another ground for studying religion. Schleiermacher found Kant’s threefold category of the human faculties completely persuasive. 14-16). instead of following Kant’s approach.bu. .. selected the third category of Kant’s critiques as his own approach to religion. Kant’s Philosophy and the Romantic Movement Kant’s philosophy was in particular attractive to Schleiermacher when he became a student at Halle University in 1787. Nevertheless. He found Kant’s approach to religion stemmed from his second critique. This emphasis shaped individual’s concept of self in relation to the world.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. a thematic approach adopted in this article is required for this presentation. namely. It is worthy of note that the word “feeling” calls attention to the sensuous impulse as well as aesthetics. v).. To this end. the Romantic Movement was another factor that influenced Schleiermacher’s thought. Kant’s three critiques were significant to Shleiermacher’s thinking system. This emphasis rendered a new perspective for the contemporary study of religion. Hence. he devoted himself to study Kant’s philosophy during his student years at the university (Redeker 1973. http://people.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. one aspect of the Romantic Movement boldly underlined the concept of individuality.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Although he read some of Kant’s philosophy before his matriculation at the university. Kant’s philosophy and Romanticism. we must briefly discuss his contemporary philosophical context. . This article seeks to present Schleiermacher’s theological system in his most mature theological work. Apparently. According to Claude Welch’s analysis. It is evident that Kant’s philosophy and the Romantic Movement profoundly influenced Schleiermacher’s theology. Historical facts were the 16 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. Schleiermacher. Nevertheless.com For evaluation only. Schleiermacher was able to identify religion with a quality of feeling rather than morality as Kant had proposed (Capps 1995.ﻕ . In addition to Kant’s philosophy. namely. the empirical and aesthetic approaches in examining the world were vital characters of Romanticism. The primary relation of individual to the world was no longer through the noble structure of reason but through the immediacy of individual feeling. and therefore he highlighted it as the ground of religion. This critique led Kant to study religion in terms of ethics or morality. Schleiermacher’s theology has developed into a significant theological legacy that inspires the later theologians in both circles. Aquinas” (Schleiermacher 1999. 7-13). 1830). (second edition. to deal with Schleiermacher’s theological system. he did not agree with Kant’s identification of religion with morality. namely. while he sought another approach to religion than Kant. Schleiermacher intended to keep Kant’s paradigmatic framework intact. As a result.
this section boldly signifies the main thought of the work. it is not difficult to identify some Kant’s philosophical and Romantic elements in Schleiermacher’s theological system. The final section (i. he revises the ecclesiastically formed doctrine of Trinity into his anthropological views on Christ and the Holy Spirit.. as we have seen. This emphasis allowed human beings to seek for various imaginative expressions of their experiences (Welch 1972. In fact. the Christian religious affection.foxitsoftware.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. Without a doubt.e. In the third section (i. the history of the divine revelation was only present in the history of humanity. Based on the above discussion. the second part of the system). foundation of religion. Schleiermacher presents his theological view on the Christian faith in a systematic arrangement throughout . Rather. and the doctrine of Trinity. I divide the Christian Faith into two subsections. Accordingly. it must itself constantly become living history. the Christian faith should be coherent with the principles of the church. he explicates how the religious self-consciousness becomes the existential facts by examining one’s dialectic structure of self-consciousness of sin and grace. .e. Diversity was set in contrast to uniformity. Schleiermacher defines the character of the Christian faith as follows: 17 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.bu. vi).e. In the second section (i. and the constitution of the world. nor standing in opposition to human beings. the Christian faith.e. they argued. In this section. In this sense. dogmatics explains the Christian faith not only in terms of the individual sense of feeling but also in terms of the social communion of the church. the work and its theological meaning (dogmatics). Consequently. http://people. he defines what the Christian theology should be and how to formulate a Christian theology. Consequently. and the constitution of the world. he also explains these facts in terms of the human condition. In details.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. the concept of “selfconsciousness” is boldly set in tone in his theological construction.ﻕ .com For evaluation only. introduction). Apparently. conclusion). In the first section (i. In short. he explains how one’s religious self-consciousness is contained in one’s religious affection in terms of the human condition. dogmatics. God existed in relation to human beings throughout the human history. the doctrine of God. but not the least. Now let us turn to the thematic approach of the work. we may find that Schleiermacher’s purpose for writing this work was simply to present the Christian faith “as a coherent whole according to the principles of the evangelical [Protestant] church” (Schleiermacher 1999. dogmatics is about the principles of the church. The final. namely.. aspect of the Romantic Movement was its emphasis on diversity. There are four sections contained in the work. Neither was God an object discovered by rationality alone. the doctrine of God. the first part of the dogmatic system). 52-55). We have briefly analyzed the structure of this work.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Religion could only be accessible in history.
. Thus. the dogmatic theology is merely a branch.bu. “Christianity is a monotheistic faith. Yet. 100-101). Piety is “a modification of feeling. It is impossible for the Christian theology to begin with natural reason since the Christian religious affection only emerges out of the Christian experience. It is to systematically illustrate the Christian faith by using the “dialectic character of language. we can know God through our self-consciousness of the relation between God and us (Schleiermacher 1999.ﻕ . rather we can only know God as He is in relation to us. 52). Dogmatics emerges out of the church where the account of “the Christian religious affections set forth in speech” (Schleiermacher 1999. 3). dogmatics is a confessional theology. Yet. the church. but also a communal character. Not only does piety portray a personal character. According to Schleiermacher. how do we feel our absolute dependence on God? There are two modes of apprehending this dependence in 18 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. http://people. the starting point for constructing a Christian theology must be a Christian experience of redemption in Jesus.” a feeling of absolute dependence. Thus. we can never know God as He is in Himself. For Schleiermacher. this feeling of absolute dependence. as the ecclesiastical communion with Christ.” This linguistic character elevates the dogmatic theology to a field of scientific discipline that ultimately seeks the ecclesiastical interests by explaining the doctrines (Schleiermacher 1999. the Christian dogmatics ought to affirm this Christian faith. belonging to the teleological type of religion.foxitsoftware. not an apologetic theology. we can briefly summarize the above definition in the following way: one’s self-consciousness of faith in Jesus as the Redeemer (Schleiermacher 1999. but self-consciousness which links the other two categories (knowing and doing). he also considers piety a form of the Christian faith. this experience is to which all Christian doctrines should refer.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. In other words.. and is essentially distinguished from other such faiths by the fact that in it everything is related to the redemption accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth” (Schleiermacher 1999. for this religious self-consciousness forms the foundation of the ecclesiastical communion with Christ (Schleiermacher 1999. 5-26).htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 78-88. feeling is neither a knowing nor a doing. Building up a system of dogmatics is a theological discipline. Moreover. In short. not the whole. All the divine attributes in a Christian dogmatics should refer themselves to this religious affection. we can only proceed to construct or respond to the dogmatics within the church context (Schleiermacher 1999. Schleiermacher’s theology is then fundamentally Christo-centric (Livingston 1997. In other word.com For evaluation only. For Schleiermacher. of the Christian theology. 76). Apparently. 118). Dogmatics For Schleiermacher. A feeling of absolute dependence is an immediate self-consciousness of being in relation with God. becomes a historical medium of redemption. In this sense.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. 68). 52).
Second. 271). we can feel God in our experience of the world or nature.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. this is what we call grace (Schleiermacher 1999. The feeling of absolute dependence is a universal element of life. 102). 262). We can also understand Jesus in a way that 19 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. we can speak of Jesus’ perfection and sinlessness. for Schleiermacher. For Schleiermacher. For Schleiermacher. we are conscious of fellowship with God and know that it rests upon a communication from the redeemer. which was a veritable existence of God in Him” (Schleiermacher 1999. The person and the redemptive work of Christ are inseparable in the discussion of Schleiermacher Christology. Jesus Christ perfectly realizes his God-consciousness in his earthly life span. grace convicts us how we have obscured our God-consciousness through our sin. we become conscious that we are part of the world (Schleiermacher 1999. 385). the Redeemer. this power to recognize sin characterizes our self-consciousness of grace. is present as a state of man. Schleiermacher relates sin to its antithesis grace to explain our religious self-consciousness. The reason that we can know sin is our feeling of grace. and the constitution of the world (cosmology). In short. 133-138). By rejecting the ancient concept of sin (caused by the Fall of Adam). In this sense. before we enter the further discussion of his Christology. is similar to all human beings “in virtue of the identity of human nature. Schleiermacher stresses that the power to recognize our sin comes from Jesus Christ not from Adam (Livingston 1997. This makes him turn away from the traditional interpretation of Jesus Christ. this is what we call sin. On the contrary. We experience our sin in a state that a conflict between our sensuous nature and spiritual nature hinders our inner God-consciousness (Schleiermacher 1999. Jesus Christ is an exemplar that shows the ideal humanity to all. This antithesis of sin and grace characterizes our religious form of self-consciousness (Schleiermacher 1999. Accordingly. This conflict separates us from God. These two modes elucidate Schleiermacher’s theology on human condition. the antithesis of sin and grace is a crucial structure of dialectics in building up the facts of the religious self-consciousness. Christ. As Jesus Christ presented in his perfect consciousness of God. Schleiermacher’s theology. In other words. 259). Grace is our religious self-consciousness of blessedness.. we ought to briefly analyze his antithesis of sin and grace. the doctrine of God. and which urges us become conscious of our creatureness.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.com For evaluation only. This antithesis characterizes Schleiermacher’s understanding of human sin and the redemptive activity of Jesus Christ. Christology Christology is the center of Schleiermacher’s dogmatic theology. Sin. grace comes from the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless. He interprets the person and the work of Christ from an anthropological perspective. we can feel God in our antithetic consciousness of sin and grace. Thus.ﻕ . Grace stands in opposition to sin.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. but distinguished from them all by the constant potency of His God-consciousness. First. Hence.bu. http://people..foxitsoftware.
Schleiermacher argues “the Holy Spirit is the union of the Divine Essence with human nature in the form of the common Spirit animating the life in common of believers” (Schleiermacher 1999. the redemptive work of Christ includes two modes of activities. both in the personality of Christ and in the common spirit of the church (Schleiermacher 1999. First. he is a mirror in which we see our true image and measure. This is Schleiermacher’s anthropological Christology. the redeemer assumes the believers into the power of His God-consciousness (redemptive activity). second. Yet. Christ is both exemplar and redeemer (Niebuhr1964. In this sense. For Schleiermacher. http://people. Friedrich D.foxitsoftware. That is to say. Thus. of 1799 by Richard 20 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. An anthropological Trinity has come to existence by Schleiermacher’s theological interpretation. 738). Translated from the 1st German ed. Schleiermacher also employs an anthropological doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the church. The redemptive work of Jesus Christ signifies this communication between God and human beings. 2nd ed. the redeemer assumes the believers into the fellowship of His unclouded blessedness (reconciling activity). Although Schleiermacher does not include this doctrine in the main body of the work.E.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 569).bu. but one thing makes him distinctive from other human beings are his constant potency of His God-consciousness (Schleiermacher 1999.. the center of Christ’s redemptive work shifts from the crucifixion to the incarnation by which something entirely new entered human history and is forming a new humanity and a new world (Schleiermacher 1999. In the above discussion of Christology. The Trinity For Schleiermacher. Accordingly. Schleiermacher examines the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the context of the Church in which believers share their communion with Christ. it does not mean that he thought this doctrine is unimportant. Schleiermacher also argues that we are not able to produce perfect humanity by our own consciousness since our religious self-consciousness had infected by sin. we need a mediator who is the medium for the communication of God’s redemptive power. animating the believers’ common religious life is a form of the work of the Holey Spirit.com For evaluation only. 385). this doctrine is not an immediate concern about the Christian self-consciousness. . It presents a combination of Christology and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the church. for he has brought something new into humanity and the world. this doctrine signifies the union of the divine essence with human nature. Bibliography Works Cited—Primary Sources Schleiermacher. we have seen that Schleiermacher identifies Jesus Christ as a truly man. It does not relate to the feeling that is integral to the Christian experience of dependence.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. In order to explain the doctrine of Trinity.. 425-438). 226).ﻕ . In terms of the work of Christ. In other words.
namely the second edition of (1831). Niebuhr. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Works Cited—Secondary Sources Redeker. the German philosophical theologian.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. Upper Saddle River: Friedrich Schleiermacher: The Father of Modern Protestant Theology Peter Heltzel. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Capps. R.. Welch.A thematic approach to this work will be taken here to elucidate the theological thinking of Schleiermacher. 6). Prentice-Hall. http://people. Translated by John Wallhausser. universal religious experience when writing to his sophisticated friends. 2nd ed. Inc. coherent whole in . 1972. was a "critical realist" working among post-Kantian idealists. 1973 . theological method and Christology. 1999 . .1. Crouter. 1995.com For evaluation only.ﻕ .Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. In (1799) Schleiermacher posits his theory of piety as a basic. with some brief concluding remarks on his legacy. with a brief discussion of his conception of theology. Vol. . Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Livingston.. Martin.1. . The Experience of God: The Brilliance of Schleiermacher At the root of Schleiermacher’s theological achievement was a reconception 21 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. ________. Edited by H. . . 1998 Friedrich Schleiermacher (1786-1834). 1996. New Haven: Yale University Press. This article seeks to provide commentary on his most mature theological writing. Mackintosh and J.foxitsoftware. 2nd ed. He is truly the greatest Protestant systematic theologian after John Clavin (Niebuhr 1978. theological education. James. Richard. . Claude. 1997 . A. With a Forward by B. Vol. He developed the doctrinal implications in a cogent. Gerrish. Stewart. Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd. S. .bu.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 1964. Walter H. .
Although Brunner criticizes Schleiermacher for his "catholicizing" traits such as the corruption of theology by philosophy (Gerrish 1978. This was a view of religion which had an integrity of its own in the subjective realm of feeling or consciousness. For him religion is primarily neither morality ( Kant) nor belief or knowledge ( Hegel) but an immediate self-consciousness or feeling of absolute dependence on God.ﻕ . historical theology and practical theology. historically and pastorally. Schleiermacher divided the theological encyclopedia into three different disciplinary topics: philosophical theology. Philosophy of Religion (Schliermacher 1928. Fourth Speech.bu. Tillich rightly points out that Schleiermacher never clearly related this borrowed philosophical truth with theological truth (Tillich 1951:1/30). The roots of faith are pre-moral and pre-cognitive. These three types of theology were implemented in the theology department at the University of Berlin. According to Schleiermacher. (Schleiermacher 1994. Schleiermacher’s Conception of Theology Theology for Schleiermacher involved drawing out the doctrinal implications of this "feeling of absolute dependence.com For evaluation only.foxitsoftware. This experience is transferred and embodied in religious communities like Christianity. Schliermacher’s threefold model of theological education at Berlin would have a major influence on university theology curriculums in America at the turn of the century (Kelsey 1993. of religion. God is present as an immediate dynamic relationship that grasps our whole being in the theology of Schleiermacher. The church (or Christian community) is foundational to the experience of God which works itself out in a moral. 147-209). 52-65). While the God of Kant (the absolute or unconditioned God) is present through our sense of moral obligation.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Thus. thoughtful life of love. 21). Theological study began for Schleiermacher with a more general philosophical analysis of the "feeling of absolute dependence" within the world religions. However.. it should be noted that Schleiermacher does not systematically exclude knowledge and morality from the realm of religion.. http://people. of which Schleiermacher was cofounder with Humboldt (1808-1810). Christianity is the specific form of the God-consciousness shaped through Jesus Christ and the community of faith in him. this move by Schleiermacher was a major curricular 22 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. but which yet could be reflected upon and discussed intellectually in theology and could inform the whole of practical living. though very variously recognized and expressed.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher." This feeling was analyzed in three different ways: philosophically. rather he argues that "the experience of absolute dependence" should be the primary emphasis of religion. Regardless. and this religious consciousness is common to all people. Schleiermacher’s theory of religion offered an idiom through which all of Christian doctrine could be expressed afresh. 31-52) should replace Natural Theology (after the critiques of natural theology by Hume and Kant) as a preamble to systematic theology.
Part of the reason for his anthropological starting point was .ﻕ . engaged in a type of "theology from below. For Schleiermacher expanded the discipline of historical theology. To his sophisticated." Enlightenment theology (deism). the impasse between rationalism and orthodoxy. and that its present condition can be adequately grasped only when it is viewed as a product of the past" (Schleiermacher 1966.com For evaluation only. Schleiermacher appropriated this historical methodology to be the interpretive key of his theological encyclopedia. the subsequent history of Christianity. By this inquiry into the rise and development of Christianity. breakthrough for connecting traditional theological studies with the soon-emerging study of the world religions. calling it the "crown" of theology. Historical-critical study dominated the intellectual scene of the early nineteenth century.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www." Schleiermacher believed the Enlightenment rightly rebelled against authoritative theology which stifled human creativity and confused 23 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. and the dogmatic theology of the contemporary church. historical theology aimed to discern the historical essence of Christianity and to exhibit that essence as the substantive unity of theological studies.. Schleiermacher made many innovations in his theological methods.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. regarded as a whole. skeptical friends. built upon "the realization that this community. Schleiermacher’s Theological Method While broadly in the Reformed tradition (for he saw to be a dogmatics of united Church including both Lutheran and Calvinist communions) of systematic theology. Orthodoxy viewed theology as reflection on supernaturally revealed truths and thus practiced a "theology from above. 26).foxitsoftware. for he saw the subject of theology as the life of church unfolding in history. with religious feeling. One major methodological difference from traditional reformed theology was Schleiermacher’s starting point. It was practical theology (or training in the actual preaching.bu. Historical knowledge of the church. was the requisite knowledge for practical leadership of the church. what if it could be shown that religion in general and Christianity in particular are not inimical to humanity but essential to its true fulfillment? Schleiermacher answered strongly in the affirmative. Schleiermacher started with religious experience. then they are prepared to minister in the present. incorporating in its purview the Bible. teaching and shepherding of the parish to pious living: ) which Schleiermacher saw as the most important of the three. and then worked his way up to God. http://people. viewed the enterprise as reflection on rational thoughts about God. Once pastors fully understand the past. his apologetic posture in Schleiermacher posed the question. he thought it encompassed the entire development of the Christian religion. in sum.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. For Schleiermacher asserting religious experience as the primary source of theology rather than authoritative propositions about God was the only way he saw as a possible solution to the pressing problematic of his day.. is a historical entity.
talk about God is always talk about human experience of God. However. God is the one who acts. For Schleiermacher. To "describe" is to limit and divide. but can not be acted upon. In drawing out the implications of the experience of total dependence. Schleiermacher is drawn to doctrines that pattern and bring form to our God consciousness such as Christology. that is. In the broadest and most general sense theology is simply human reflection on religion. thereby taking away from God’s infinity and implying a dependence of God upon the world. Volf 1998) if the Trinity could have played a more central role in his dogmatics. In Schleiermacher defines theology as the attempt to set forth the Christian religious affections in speech.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. It was determined by the pious God-consciousness of Christian people. Because that experience is 24 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ..bu. there was a broader move toward a radical monotheism through the Deism and Romanticism of Schleiermacher’s day that prevented him from this insight. One wonders if he had a more modern pyscho-social anthropology (e.. Such statements describe not God-in-himself but a certain mode of experiencing God. 15/76). but only something special in the manner in which the feeling of absolute dependence is to be related to Him" (Schleiermacher 1928. According to Schleiermacher. their feeling of absolute dependence on God. So in the spirit of Goethe." this feeling is brought to fruition in the life of Christ. Although has many formal similarities to Calvin’s such as the division between God the Creator and God the Redeemer. http://people. Schleiermacher concluded that God is the all-determining reality. 50/194). In Schleiermacher all of the traditional doctrines correspond with the experience of God.foxitsoftware. For Schleiermacher the feeling of being totally dependent is squarely placed on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ for one’s relationship with God. Schleiermacher’s reconstruction of the doctrine of God has been one of his most controversial contributions to modern theology. Schleiermacher set out to paint a new portrait of God. In other words. theology is human reflection on human experience of God.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. but the deist alternative was too sterile and bland. "Christian doctrines are accounts of the Christian religious affections set forth in speech" (Schleiermacher 1928.. Schleiermacher innovates in the way he treats these doctrines. on piety.com For evaluation only. The doctrine of the Trinity on the other hand is not found very helpful by Schleiermacher for explicating our experience of God.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.ﻕ . by painting a picture of human experience of God. He writes.g. Christology Although Schleiermacher begins with "the feeling of absolute dependence. he offered what has become a classic reformulation: "All attributes which we ascribe to God are to be taken as denoting not something special in God. the attributes of God are not to be taken as actually describing God. the church’s dogmas about God with God himself. Thus. the ultimate cause of everything—both good and evil. In the place of the traditional understanding.
In a letter to his father he expressed skepticism about the substitutionary doctrine of atonement—that Christ suffered at the hands of God the just punishment for human sin. Legacy The influence of Schleiermacher on modern theology can not be overestimated.. From the vantage points of these contemporary movements. Schleiermacher writes: "Christianity is a monotheistic faith. God’s activity in human awareness had been a major motivational force in many contemporary theological movements including feminism. but it transcends a traditional view of the atonement. While Kant subsumes the man Jesus (our moral archetype) into the work of Christ. belonging to the teleological type of religion. His powerful account of religion’s validity rooted in the dynamics of awareness of God has influenced many subsequent theologians including Soren Kierkegaard (Kierkegaard 1946. Crouter 1994.ﻕ . the ideal God-consciousness that Jesus posses is sufficient to express what Christians call his "divinity.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. all doctrines must be centered around and related to him and his redemptive work (Schleiermacher 1928. 11/52) For Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher does not want to reduce Christology to the atonement. 29/125).). 425-475). 1928. he has some very prejudicial readings of non-Christian religions. 61). http://people.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. it is only Christianity that can properly interpret and deliver true God-consciousness because Jesus Christ was the only person who ever achieved complete God-consciousness. So when he gets to the work of Christ (Schleiermacher 1928.bu. 205-225).com For evaluation only. This act does not undo the prior guilt. According to Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher is often viewed as a great mediator. Somewhere in his early education he began to develop doubts about certain of the key doctrines of orthodox Protestantism. Schleiermacher criticizes the classical doctrine of Jesus’ two natures (human and divine) as illogical (Schleiermacher 1928." In the beginning of when Schleiermacher develops his theory of religions.. if not the Father of mediation theology (Welch 1974. and liberation theology. Schleiermacher tried to reassert religious consciousness in 25 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. 18. Schleiermacher reasserts the necessity of the historical Jesus to enact our redemption. 96/391ff. After Schleiermacher theology must take account of what is actually felt as the experience of God’s activity in human awareness. and like Hegel argues that Christianity is the consummate religion.foxitsoftware. cf. Redemption in Christ is a central motif in Schleiermacher’s theology. and is essentially distinguished from other such faiths by the fact that in it everything is related to the redemption accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth" (Schleiermacher.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Pentecostalism. Schleiermacher’s principle argument against substitutionary atonement is similar to Kant: for someone to vicariously suffer for someone else’s wrong doing is immoral. fundamentally an experience of God mediated in and through Jesus Christ.
Of .. Phoenix paperback ed. 1928. by H. J.F. of . Eds.com For evaluation only. Edinburgh: T. 1996. 1984. Tr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tr. Mirslov. 1951. Ed. 3 Vols. Terrence N.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 1993. ________.bu.W. 1963.&T. Brian. Of the 2nd German ed. . 14 Vols. .R. 1978. David.S. 1974.ﻕ . Schleiermacher’s theology was in part an attempt to answer Kant’s critique of religion while accepting the limitation he placed on reason. a post-Kantian world which was skeptical of such a project. ________. . Bibliography Primary Schleiermacher.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. 1951-1963.. ________. . Chicago: University of Chicago. . Paul. 1963. Karl. York: Scribner. http://people. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. . 1821-22. Welch. . Niebuhr. Torrance. 26 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. Stewart. Kelsey.foxitsoftware. 1st German ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Translated from the 1st German ed. Richard R. 1966. 1974. Secondary Sources Gerrish. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Fortress. Supplemental Barth. Bromiley and T. Tice. . 1: 1799-1870. 1984. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. Schleiermacher’s project challenges all systematic theologians to craft their theology creatively in the thought forms of the day. Trans. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. .edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher.. 1976. Clark. . G. of 1799 by Richard Crouter. Volf. Claude. New Tillich. . Vol. Atlanta: John Knox. 1932-1952. Friedrich D. 1930-31.E. 1957. Mackintosh.
. Philadelphia: Fortress. 1960.. . New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. "Schleiermacher and the Construction of a Contemporary Roman Catholic Foundational Theology.. Cozens and H. Kierkegaard.bu. Jaqueline." 89 (4:1996):175-194.ﻕ . London: SCM." 42/2 (1996):177-200. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox. 1946. 1988. . Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress. 1996 Fiorenza. Streetman. "Must Christ Suffer to Redeem? The Doctrine of Vicarious Atonement in Schleiermacher and Baeck. Mariña.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. 1978. Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag." . Sonderegger." . trans. Dembski. 49/4 (1996):442-465. Tr.com For evaluation only. . 1937. 1972. Dawn. DeVries. Francis S. Gadamer." ." . Press. Soren. Harper and Row. "The English Tradition of Interpretation and the Reception of Schleiermacher and Barth in England. Crouter. Princeton: Princeton University Makintosh. Williams.foxitsoftware. Robert R. 2000 27 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. Richard. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher Charles Demm. Bowden. William A. http://people. Of eleven chapters of . New York: . Kant.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Duke and R. edited by J. _____. . Katherine. Daniel W. 1975. "Schleiermacher’s Metaphysical Critique of Miracles. New York: Seabury. . "Schleiermacher’s Christology Revisited: A Reply to His Critics. Hans-Georg. 2/2 (1995):175-192. "Kierkegaard’s Not so Hidden Debt to Schleiermacher. 1932-1952. Immanuel. B. Hugh Ross. 1/2(1994):205-225.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Hardy.
Fleeing to Holland Daniel escaped prison. a nationalist. Gottlieb spent much of the year traveling among the garrisons. On November 21. Yet even Karl Barth. As a result. and a husband and father.ﻕ . During these trips he also served the pockets of Reformed communities in the region. but also a mystic. His mother died in 1783. During these years Gottlieb had grown anxious over the tensions that had developed between Reformed orthodoxy and the ideas of the Enlightenment.. and the fourth generation of Reformed pastors in his family. the Brethren frowned upon contact with the outside world. 8). He was the second of three children. a university professor and dean. Schleiermacher has been called not only the ‘Father of Modern Theology’. As we have read in the awakening to this period. it sought the development of an inner experience of the Christian message.1695) was a Reformed pastor of ill repute. a theologian. His many activities have generated many responses that are often wildly disparate in nature. 6-7). Second. it offered a humanistic 28 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. Both Friedrich’s maternal grandfather and greatgrandfather were court chaplains at the Reformed cathedral in Berlin (Redeker. Parishioners brought charges of witchcraft and sorcery against Daniel for reasons lost to history forcing his wife and son (Friedrich’s father) to testify against him.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. As a royal chaplain. Friedrich would never again see his parents. considered him the falls over which every preceding Christian theologian has had to navigate.bu. So impressed were they that Gottlieb and his wife decided to have their children educated by the Moravians (Redeker. He was employed as teacher until 1760 when he became chaplain in royal Prussian army during the Seven Years’ War.. Gottlieb (b. Before we cast our own vote either way. 1973.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. In 1778 Gottlieb encountered a Moravian community while visiting soldiers in Gnadenfrei. First. no wide-eyed fan of Schleiermacher. but he never again served a pastoral office. Run much like a monastery. 1768 Friedrich was born to Gottlieb and Katharine-Maria Schleiermacher. and the only Reformed pastor in his province. It was hoped that each student would have his own personal experience of sin and grace. http://people. Biography Friedrich Schleiermacher assumed many prominent roles in his lifetime. A pastor in Elberfield (Western Germany) he associated with Rhenish sectarians. Schleiermacher blossomed during his stay with the Moravians. Witnessing the life and worship of this community stirred a pietistic reawakening in Gottlieb. a glimpse at Schleiermacher’s personal life and era will provide background to his thought. he was a Reformed preacher. a government official.com For evaluation only. His paternal grandfather Daniel Schleiermacher (b.1727) earned a theological degree from the University of Duisburg when he was nineteen. Schleiermacher dated his spiritual 1973. and a heretic. The pietistic curriculum had two prominent features. but Schleiermacher continued to correspond with his father until Gottlieb’s death in 1794.foxitsoftware.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher.
English.ﻕ . however.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. geography. a young widow. And in 1796 he accepted the position as pastor of the Charite Hospital in Berlin. she died of tuberculosis at a very young age. poets. From 1794 to 1796 Schleiermacher became an associate pastor in Landsberg. Gerrish. He immersed himself in the reading of Greek philosophy and Kant. however.. no doubt due to the social barriers between a countess and a tutor. 1984. He disowned his son (temporarily) accusing him of having a false pride and an unholy love for the material world (Redeker. Finally..foxitsoftware. philosophy. In 1785 Schleiermacher entered the secluded Moravian Brethren’s theological seminary in Barby. but Friedrich’s decision to enter the University of Halle in 1787 further upset his father. Schleiermacher’s time at Halle. At this time Schleiermacher also became a private tutor to Count Dohna’s family. became one of the centers of the new salon society. and religion. The two would eventually reconcile.bu. Unfortunately. mathematics. Schleiermacher and Henriette were soon the talk of society. was limited to only two years. Greek. education that taught its students Latin. In the correspondence between father and son Friedrich’s growing disillusionment can be traced. The home of Henriette Hertz. however. Kant. 1787 Friedrich dropped a bombshell admitting to his father that he no longer believed in Jesus’ divinity. She defended Schleiermacher whenever he was criticized for his vocation and beliefs. http://people. mathematics and botany. in favor of new ideals and a greater appreciation of art and culture. ethics.com For evaluation only. When the son complains to his father that orthodox teaching have failed to cure his doubts. the complete correspondence. making the exact details of the reconciliation unknown because Dilthey only published a portion of the letters.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. His father’s reply was swift and damning. He instructed the children in French. available when Dilthey published some of Schleiermacher’s letters in has been lost. Schleiermacher also fell in love with their seventeen-year-old daughter Friederike. and high society who gathered to throw off the yoke of the Enlightenment. but described it as a relationship “on a high 29 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. did manage to smuggle in works by Goethe. a circle of Berlin romantics. Schleiermacher and his precocious friends. It emphasized personal piety and censored modern belles letters and philosophy. 1973.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. 10). as he was pressed to take the Reformed theology exams by his father. were strictly forbidden (Redeker. Like his father before him. Swimming and skating. Redeker admits that their affection was indeed strong. Hebrew. their mutual affection remaining a secret. 1973. In Berlin Schleiermacher entered the newly formed salon society. Schleiermacher’s orthodox belief was shaken by the enchroachment of Enlightenment ideas. in a letter dated 21 January. His arrival in Berlin would open a new chapter in Schleiermacher’s life. Unfortunately. the father failed to recognize his son’s earnest struggle. 14. and Wolff. history. 25).
19). 72). approving the first half of the . to freedom and inner peace through understanding…” (Redeker. while rejecting the latter half for its Christian tone. who was frequently tormented by depressions and anxieties. And Church authorities grew increasingly suspicious of Schleiermacher and his association with Romantics like Schlegel who was seen as immoral and a threat to all that was sacred to the older generation. In a letter to his sister Charlotte. He was called 30 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. having nothing to do with man and woman…if I were to consider only the externals. it was no marriage at all. In the end Eleonore remained with her husband. 7). 1973. he was also criticized for being both a mystic and a pantheist.. August Sack. 1978. It was Schlegel who pushed Schleiermacher to begin his literary career. He writes: “It is a close and heart-felt friendship. In 1799 when he was thirty years old Schleiermacher anonymously published . Through his connection with Henriette Schleiermacher met and befriended Friedrich Schlegel. Schleiermacher’s tenure at Wurzburg was short lived. Redeker admits that Schleiermacher’s opinion of marriage changed with age. while Schleiermacher left Berlin to accept a poorly funded position as court chaplain in Stolp.. After a two year pastorate in Stolp (1802-04) Schleiermacher was given a professorship in ethics and pastoral care at the University of Wurzburg. although her face is incontestably very lovely and her full queenly form so much stronger than my own.foxitsoftware. Goethe’s reaction was typical of the romantic salon. Schleiermacher’s denial of romantic feelings for Henriette seems strained. an unhappily married wife of a Berlin clergyman. a provincial town in Pomerania. Yet. http://people. Since Schleiermacher’s writings reflected the death of the traditional image of a supernatural God. But the young pastor firmly believed that if a marriage thwarted a person’s individuality. Redeker says that Schleiermacher’s greatest intention was to “assist this woman.com For evaluation only. a leading proponent of the Romantic movement. The same authorities and society were scandalized by Schleiermacher’s open courtship of Eleonore Grunow.bu. 1973. The work provoked outrage from many sides. Schleiermacher’s ecclesiastical superior. intellectual plane” (Redeker. then she is not all that attractive to me. 1860. however. It was a new institution of learing that was dedicated to equality of rights for all confessions and included both Roman Catholic and Protestant on the faculty. But I always find it so laughable and absurd to imagine us both free and in love and married that I can only get over my amusement with real effort” (Rowan. How much influence Romanticism had on Schleiermacher’s writings has remained a subject of debate.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.ﻕ . asked if he were even Christian (Gerrish. What kind of relationship they had is not certain. 27).edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. Redeker maintains that his departure was voluntary.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. may lead the reader to disagree with Redeker. Schleiermacher’s own thoughts.
Schleiermacher’s influence on the Church in Germany was equally great. there was a movement in Prussia towards the unification of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches. as long as it sought the idea of truth (Redeker. In 1809 Friedrich married Henriette von Muhlenfels. professors were given the autonomy to carry out their research and teaching assignments. This quest for union was not without its share of difficulties. From this position Schleiermacher called for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Schleiermacher was given a much warmer reception by the non-theological faculties (Redeker. they were pained by the fact that they could not celebrate the Lord’s Supper together. would die of diptheria in 1829 when he was nine years old. Schleiermacher was an outspoken critic.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. but by granting the University independence. as an official in the State’s department of education from 1808-1814. Schleiermacher’s guiding hand not only gave shape to Berlin. he created a space for the burgeoning field of science within the university. First. Interestingly. Heated debate centered on the shaping of a new liturgy. led by the King and Queen. He also became editor ‘The Prussian Correspondent’ a newspaper which published four times a week. 1973. 94). the wording of the new constitution. http://people. In this period Schleiermacher finally found a woman with whom he could marry without scandal. Schleiermacher’s passion for nationalism was stirred by political events when Halle fell to Napolean’s army in 1806. While Goethe and Hegel cheered on Napolean’s defeat of the Prussian state. Schleiermacher felt that the state was best served. 1973.com For evaluation only. Schleiermacher remained behind until the University Church was appropriated as storehouse for grain in September 1807.ﻕ . which drew the ire of the state censor and the suspicions among the ultra-conservatives. Since he was Reformed and she was Lutheran. and the role of the state in the entire process. a young widow with one child from a previous marriage. but to the structure of future universities. In this capacity Schleiermacher helped restructure the educational system.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. The union occurred in 1817 on the anniversary of the Reformation.. however. Third. The crown wanted Halle to be on the vanguard of a burgeoning movement that moved beyond the limitations of the Enlightenment. repudiating Napolean as a foreign conqueror and dictator. away by the crown to become the first Reformed professor at the University of Halle which dismayed many of the entrenched Lutheran faculty who viewed him as a mystic and heretic.foxitsoftware. 76). He 31 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. Second. he tied teaching together with new research. Independent of Schleiermacher. His influence is most visible in three areas. Schleiermacher was chosen to be a professor and founder of a new state University in Berlin in 1810 to fill the vacuum created by the close of Halle. Returning to Berlin Schleiermacher became politically active in Berlin.. Hegel even charged Schleiermacher as a revolutionary against the King. But Schleiermacher was not satisfied. Nathanael.bu. their one child together. While many fled for Berlin.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. not by stifling innovative ideas.
They were interested in everything. When the news spread throughout Berlin there was a massive outpouring of grief.. but not a union of the two. and they were endowed with both the education and the leisure to create such a life. Schleiermacher’s untimely death came in February 1834. of the 3rd ed.000 people attended the funeral. Hoping to deflate this belief in humanistic self-imrovement. They had many interests. It has been reported that between 20-30. Schleiermacher echoed the disgust felt by the cultured at those who blindly followed ecclesiastical dogma and creeds. 1821.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. In the wake of the Enlightenment orthodox religion no longer offered a possible avenue for cultivation. Its circle included a strange mix of people: aristocrats. “The Reformation still goes on!” A resolution was not reached until 1829.com For evaluation only.bu.. so they zealously pursued authorities from these many fields. religion was believed to orbit around two views: a belief in providence and immortality (Schleiermacher. http://people. Their goal was to build up a rich. if religion were excluded. It was to this disaffected crowd that Schleiermacher offered his apology.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Schleiermacher protested. Schleiermacher argued that a person could not be fully human without also being religious. On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (Refer to Oman’s 1894 trans. 14-15). He was completely against the state-directed imposition of liturgical and dogmatic rules on individual communities. and young clergymen. This debate colored the writing of Schleirmacher’s opus which was first published in 1820-21. pressed for a new harmony between the confessions. Burdened with a cold Schleiermacher continued his usual teaching and administrative duties until it developed into a case of pneumonia. when the crown allowed congregations to follow their previous orders of worship (Redeker.ﻕ . ranging from the arts and sciences to ethical issues.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. but religion. The salon society had been too hasty in their rejection of religion by confusing its outward forms with its essence.foxitsoftware. artists. Popular opinion viewed religion as a fearful acceptance of the external authority of the church. In a move that shocked both the cultured and the orthodoxy. creative life on earth. Jewish women. In the final assessment. whatever world the cultured attempted to create by its own merits would be hollow. 1973. 198). . He died in his bed February 12 surrounded by his family after celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Therefore. The king retained the right to design the new constitution. He agreed with them that dogma had been a source of 32 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. which led Schleiermacher to utter his famous reply. And yet the Enlightenment’s own quest for a rational religion was too sterile for many of the cultured elite.) First Speech: Defense Schleiermacher’s intended audience for his first book was the salon society of Berlin. One of the circle’s many interests included a concern for individual spiritual self-improvement.
Failure to realize this fact would undermine every attempt at self-improvement. Schleiermacher acknowledges the plurality of religions in the world. 1821. Schleiermacher wrote. In the second speech Schleiermacher wanted to strip away these mistaken assumptions and replace these false images with a definition that cut closer to the essence of religion (Schleiermacher. Feeling derives from the sensations of the World. Second Speech: The Nature of Religion In the second speech Schleiermacher reiterated his claim that religion is not yet known if the person’s understanding is based on either memories or preconditions. 1821. Each sphere is distinct. Scientific knowledge is not religion. It does not instigate action instead religion is moved by the Infinite that stands against the finite creature (Schleiermacher. but each in interwoven. These feelings are the exclusive domain of religion. He then proceeded to write another sixty pages. Our moral life is triggered when we begin to impress ourselves on these moments. doing. To understand how they are related.ﻕ . Schleiermacher asks his reader to ponder a moment in his/her life..bu. religion was something other than right thinking or right actions. but it is permitted. 2. 33 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. to investigate religion (its history and dogma). This feeling or intuition signaled the ‘Infinite’ and ‘Eternal’. 1821. He wrote that religion did not begin with theological systems. yet as a third facet it is indispensably interrelated to them. 1821.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 37). while religion remains passive. Religion did not derive from quantity of knowledge. Despite the majority view. and it was an essential element in human nature (Schleiermacher. 17). but Schleiermacher had a radically different view of dogma and the role doctrine should play in a community. this sense of the Infinite within the individual was the inspiration behind the creative achievements so cherished by the salon set. People needed to regain the ability to hear the Deity who continuously revealed itself by roaring within our hearts (Schleiermacher. even welcomed. http://people. granting him/her contact with the universal. Knowledge begins to occur when we think about these feelings. 1821.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher.. unnecessary suffering and harm. and feeling had been established Schleiermacher proclaimed that the “chief point” of his speech had been made. Only when there is unity among knowledge. 35). In fact. but with an internal feeling he labeled ‘religion’. 27). nor could God be found at the apex of science (Schleiermacher. Knowledge derived from either one would distort and corrupt the religious feelings. 16).foxitsoftware. When this happens the individual is linked to the Infinite. Piety can be equated with neither of these two spheres. He was also opposed to equating moral action with religion because morality is manipulative by nature. Once the unity of knowing. discussing several topics that have influenced the future shape of theology and the academic study of religion. 1.com For evaluation only. and piety can human potentiality be achieved. action.
Scleiermacher’s reading of Scripture differed from his contemporaries. barren existence. Schleiermacher conceded that the middle class presently held the field. Each is a distinct expression of the one religion. Schleiermacher described a child’s capacity to experience joy when confronted by the mysteries and marvels of the world.foxitsoftware. Fourth Speech: Association in Religion. as we are social creatures by nature..1821. A person who is blessed with talents in certain areas is 34 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. or Church and Priesthood In the fourth speech Schleiermacher repeats the common perceptions of religion among the salon set. This feeling was nothing less than religion. Schleiermacher believed religion could be glimpsed within the material world. They object to the use of imagination because they conclude that it produces nothing of tangible value. However. Thus. Their activities and their critique of the status quo had unintentionally begun to reinvigorate true religion. For Schleiermacher this worldview strips the religious element from life leaving only a small.ﻕ . are not the cultured. we naturally desire to communicate our experiences to others. Quiet contemplation was considered to be idle folly. Schleiermacher continued. But. but he remained confident that their position would crumble in time.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. religion would naturally blossom from within. 126-28). so no communication is ever pure. while others believed it to be the root of evil in the world. 72). Schleiermacher sought to “subject the whole idea of the Church to a new conclusion. Some viewed religion as simply an absurdity. Schleiermacher wrote. the creation story is interpreted as a “sacred legend”. 1821. but middle class promoters of practicality and discretion. Schleiermacher was able to offer an expression of gratitude to the ‘cultured’.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. For example. But those freely bound together in piety are both priests and laity. and in turn remain open to the experiences of others. Rather than confront their perceptions. Despite its present state.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. If the child were allowed to follow his/her interests. http://people.. much of the originality of the experience is lost in the process. 1821. too often these nascent stirrings were crushed. reconstructing if from the centre outwards…” (Schleiermacher. it must be social. 3. Thus. rather than literal truth (Schleiermacher. separating the individual from feelings of the Infinite. He drives home the point that if there is to be religion at all.148). As an example.bu. which is less than human (Schleiermacher.com For evaluation only. Foes of religion. Third Speech: The Cultivation of Religion In this speech Schleiermacher takes a closer look at the current state of religion. Since we are finite creatures our experience of the Infinite will always be incomplete. for these additional representations give us a fuller picture of the world.
248). the reality of pluralism as a natural consequence due to space and time. It professes to be all things positive religion cannot be: liberating and pure. Every new doctrine based on religious feeling is a new revelation. There should be no limits placed on the individuality of the pious. for he alone did not require mediation. There should be a strict separation of Church and State.. it also denies the true individuality in people. but only in this specific role. Creeds cannot be forced upon others. 1821. He had previously shown that a confessional religion was unavoidably impure.ﻕ . Schleiermacher protests that natural religion not only fails to correspond to reality.com For evaluation only.. The truly religious person is a historical person. There should be no proselytizing. 153).bu. He disposes of natural religion in short fashion. 4. The sum of religion and the religious culture is always greater than the individual. 2.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. Schleiermacher did not claim that Christ could be the only mediator. nor necessarily the last mediator (Schleiermacher. a ‘priest’ to the community. In the 1799 edition the young Schleiermacher seemed to advocate opening the Canon to make room for new revelations. as it does not begin with an original fact. for the State pollutes religion by imposing on it its own interests. So the person is also part of the ‘laity’ in areas where he/she does not excel (Schleiermacher. however. it is found in the pious who realize that they lack a complete picture of the Infinite (Schleiermacher. All finite creatures need a higher mediator. 238). Fifth Speech: The Religions Only in the last speech does Schleiermacher show his hand to his readers: the particular religion they need is in fact Christianity. 1821. and even embrace. http://people. unlike positive religion. but the older Schleiermacher backpedaled from this position in 1821. Schleiermacher set particular parameters for these free associations: 1. For Christians Jesus Christ is the mediator. 3. But religion is not bound historically produced dogma rather.foxitsoftware. 1821. Schleiermacher concludes this important first work with the possibility that something even better might come in the future. And it is easily corrupted by machinations of the State.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. But. He also hoped that they would accept. Interestingly. nor any belief that salvation exists only for the ‘insiders’. Schleiermacher goes so far as to say that Jesus was not the only mediator. So.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. Brief Bibliography 35 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.
MacLean Gilmour. ________. Secondary Sources Gerrish. Tice. 1975. London: Smith. . 1853-63. Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press. 1976. Berlin: Georg Reimer. _____. Redeker. _____.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle. 1860. . Translated by S.ﻕ . Sources and Translations Schleiermacher. 1984. Translated from the 1st German ed. Terrence. . . Wesley Wildman (basic information here). please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source. Princeton: Princeton University Press.com For evaluation only. [1820-21] Translated from the 2nd German ed.928 entries of primary sources and secondary literature dating up to 1966.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher.. Edited by Jack C. Edited by H. This is a translation of the first two volumes of .  Translation by John Wallhauser. If you want to use text or stories from these 36 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ. .htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. 1973.R. Friedrich Daniel Ernst. and remember also to credit the original author of what you use. . Philadelphia: Fortress Press.foxitsoftware.bu.S. B. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . _____. 1987. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 4 vols. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Martin. _____. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1978. Edited by Ludwig Jonas and Wilhelm Dilthey. 2nd ed. Elder. 1966. Stewart. _____. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1994. of 1799 by Richard Crouter. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Verheyden. 1996. This work contains 1. http://people. Translation from the 3rd German edition of 1824 by John Oman (1958). Translated and edited by Dawn DeVries. . Translated by Frederica Rowan 2 vols. where that is applicable. Louisville. unless otherwise noted.A. The information on this page is copyright ©1994 onwards. MacKintosh and J. If you want to use ideas that you find here. . . ..
please contact me at the feedback address for permission...ﻕ .bu.Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology: Friedrich Schle.htm Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.edu/wwildman/bce/mwt_themes_470_schleiermacher. http://people. pages.foxitsoftware. 37 of 37 2013/09/28 11:38 ﻅ.com For evaluation only.
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